September 30, 2010


Prompt from Poetic Asides: write about an emergency

Somebody’s crisis
rings out in the dead of night,
calling forth paramedics.

Speeding ambulance –
that symbol of hope and help –
sounds tones, flashes lights.

Doctors prep themselves,
patients on the way to fill
empty hospital beds.

Prayers go upward,
pleading deliverance for
somebody’s crisis.

September 26, 2010


Prompt from Sunday Scribblings: write about love

He had the riches
of the entire universe,
the comforts of a body
untouched by pain,
the merits of a life
lived without sin,

and He gave it all up
for a world filled with
poverty and suffering,
paid the price of our
sinful imperfection
with His own life,

and we reject Him,
ignore His sacrifice,
despise His love.

September 25, 2010


Prompt from Writer's Island: whimisicality

She changed into one of those
blue and white patterned gowns
that never really flatters anyone,
took off her glasses and jewelry
and gave them to her husband for
safekeeping during surgery.

She pulled back the curtain and
five of us hovered around her
like bees swarming on a flower,
taking her temperature and
checking her medications and
inserting an IV line in her arm.

She lay there stripped of her
name, just another patient
for us to prep, but she held on
to her identity, wiggling her
toes and proudly flaunting
her bright green fuzzy socks.

(inspired by a true-to-life experience and one of my own personal whimsies)

September 24, 2010


Prompt from Big Tent Poetry: write a travel-inspired haibun, a poetic prose section followed by a haiku

Cramped and stiff, I gently unfolded myself from the bus seat and made my way down the aisle toward the door. Whispers of fresh air slipped inside the bus, awakening and tantalizing my senses. Glimpses of bright cerulean sky and never-ending green met my eyes as I exited the vehicle. Grazing antelope and buffalo rested near a quiet river that snaked its way through grassy fields. Untamed horses sauntered through open pastures and moved as one toward the distant foothills. Tree-covered slopes and barren peaks framed it all, mountains standing as sentries guarding this treasure of unhindered freedom.

Mountains harboring
Fertile plains and waterways
Land without fences

September 22, 2010


 Prompt from Poetic Asides: write about a cycle

This morning I got out of bed,
dressed in something comfortable,
poured myself some coffee, and
settled down with my computer
for an hour of waking up before
the day’s work really began. Then,

I got the dirty laundry from the
bedroom and hamper, put it on to
wash, checked the kitchen for
dishes to put away, and glanced at
the pile of mail on the table for
any bills that had to be paid.

As the washer soaked and spun,
I followed its cycle of cleaning,
vacuuming and sweeping the
floors, dusting the tables and
television, and straightening
the sofa cover and its cushions.

Later on, after supper, I watched
as the sink and drainer piled up
with dishes, the carpet became
spotted with dirt and dander,
and clothes were thrown in
a heap on the bedroom floor.

Tomorrow morning I will get
out of bed, get dressed and
grab some coffee, wake up
over email and blog updates,
and then begin the cycle of
housework all over again.

September 21, 2010

Learning to Write

My poem won a contest!!  Poetic Asides ran a challenge a few weeks ago to write a  monotetra, and I submitted a few (see To Fall Asleep). And one of them won, and will be published in the January issue of Writer's Digest!

I wrote a poem and thought it fine.
Its rhyme and rhythm sure did shine.
I sent the magazines a line--
"Will you print mine? Will you print mine?"

They wrote me back and said, "Not yet--
We think it is a nice vignette;
But when you write, please don't forget
What tense to set." What tense to set?

Turns out, before my poems commence
I must choose past or present tense.
I have no words in my defense!
It all makes sense. It all makes sense!

September 18, 2010

Different Kind of Fishermen

Prompt from Writer's Island: respond to the term "fisherman"

We pass them by almost
every day. They sit unseen,
hidden under ragged shirts
and oversized hats and
filth that camouflages them
against cement walls and
busy metro stations.

They bring their empty cups
and their music, an old guitar
passed down to them or
a trumpet they saved up
to buy from a thrift store,
nothing fancy but enough
to play their melodies.

We pass them by almost
every day, but sometimes
we actually hear them and
their music baits our ears
and they lure us in closer,
just to get a few more
coins in their empty cups.

September 17, 2010


Prompt from Poetic Asides: write about a person

She took me to see
a doctor when my
forehead was on fire
and my lungs were
drowning in crud
and she had no idea
if I was contagious.

She stayed with me in
the hospital while
the doctors played
games with my blood
and practiced their
art of science on
my lungs and skin.

She held me when
the diagnosis was made
of some unknown disease
and I cried at the thought
of how much water
I would have to drink
every single day.

She walked with my
future husband and talked
with my mother, being the
hope that I could not be
while I was laying there
with a catheter and
an IV in my arm.

She helped me when I
finally got discharged and
headed to my apartment,
feeling disorganized in
my home and my life,
trying to discover a
new sort of normal.

She still calls me even though
three years have gone by and
she now has a toddler, but
she still wants to find out
how my energy is doing and
what the latest news is
from my doctor.

September 14, 2010

Still Life

Prompt from Big Tent Poetry: the Wordles (list of random, unassociated words to be used within the poem)

A weary young mother
     with tender child
     hiding in her skirt
Stands on the dock
     amidst stale debris
     evidence of lunches
     half-eaten by hungry
     swarms of seagulls
Chants a prayer
Pleads for answers
     from unending
     horizons of blue
Wants to embellish
     her timid existence
     floundering backbone
Needs the temporary
     immersed in change
     sunk into oblivion

September 10, 2010

Re: the Future

Moving on past yesterday
Both eyes on today
Heart and mind on tomorrow

September 09, 2010

Fervent Hope

Prompt from Poetic Asides: write a future poem.

What this world needs now is
far more than love or peace
but something to believe in
a future to hope for
faith to carry on
to keep us going
give us optimism
nurture our dreams
help us move beyond
the tears of yesteryears
“forgetting what lies behind”
“reaching forward to what lies ahead”

What this world needs now is
something genuine to trust
some Person of integrity
who will never fail
nor ever leave us
who has full knowledge
as of a creature’s Creator
with wisdom beyond measure
working things together for our good

What this world needs now is
redemption for our souls
that unseen part of us
housed in our bodies
that will live beyond
cessation of time
an eternity somewhere
place of torment or triumph
both are wide open but only one
gives true hope and abundant life forever

September 06, 2010


The End …
 a charred fireplace
solitary survivor
of a family’s home
foundation of dreams
now heartbroken story
diminished to ashes
fragmented rubble
but the family survives
rebirths their dreams
forges a new cradle
finds a blank page
to rewrite their story
Once upon a time …

September 02, 2010

Charge of the Firemen

Prompt from Poetic Asides: respond to this statement - "I'm going to set the world on fire."

Half a mile, half a mile,
Half a mile onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six firemen.
'Forward, oh Station Nine!
Charge for the flames,' he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six firemen.

‘Forward, oh Station Nine!'
Was there a man dismay'd?
Not tho' the fighters knew
Some one had blunder'd:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six firemen.

Flames to the right of them,
Flames to the left of them,
Flames in front of them
Dancing and advancing;
Storm'd at with heat of hell,
Boldly they fought and well,
Into the flames of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Went the six firemen.

Flash'd all their lanterns bright,
Held all their hoses tight,
Dousing the brightness there,
Squelching the volley while
All the world wonder'd:
Plunged in the murd’ring smoke
Right thro' the flames they broke;
Watched as the world ignited
Reel'd from the reaching smoke
Scalded and stifled.
Most would turn back, but not
Not the six firemen.

Flames to right of them,
Flames to left of them,
Flames around them
Still ever advancing;
Storm'd at with heat of hell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Ran thro' the flames of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell,
Not one was left of them,
Left of six firemen.

When can their glory fade?
O the wild fight they made!
All the world wonder'd.
Honour the charge they made!
Honour old Station Nine,
Noble six firemen!

(inspired by & written in the vein of The Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred, Lord Tennyson)